‘Yog’ refers to union or joining. Our scriptures state that the practice of Yog leads to the union of an individual soul with Universal Consciousness. But the question is we achieve union with what? Is it union with our own self or with God? Firstly we achieve Yog with our fragmented consciousness namely body, mind, senses and yoke them with the Soul. This is achieved through a life of discipline and abstinence. Then we achieve Yog with our Consciousness that is fragmented into ‘Other’ due to ego in form of other person, another moment and another situation to realize that the ‘other’ is Self and the only moment that exists in ‘Now’. With Yog, we realize our divine qualities that are stability, nurturing, power, desires, compassion, expression, acceptance and contentment that are all offshoots or other forms of one divine quality that is ‘Love’. These divine qualities exist in our self, in seven Chakras and manifest when these Chakras blossom fully as we go through challenges of life and learn lessons. I would say that in Yog we have union with Our True Divine nature. We realise our True Self through Yog.
Yog through Chakra balancing
One may be able to achieve Yog through the opening and balancing of the chakras, the subtle energy centres in the spine. Each of the seven Chakras in the human body vibrates at a certain frequency and governs a sphere of consciousness. For example, the Muladhar Chakra rules body consciousness, the Manipur Chakra rules mind consciousness, the Anahat or Heart Chakra governs sense consciousness and the Swadhisthana Chakra rules soul consciousness. Yog is a method of opening up and balancing the chakras, and by doing so, one can merge their consciousness with the Universal Consciousness in the Hrit Padma Chakra, which is the spiritual heart and the seat of the Atman.
Since inception, Yog has evolved drastically and travelled to the farthest corners of the globe. Raja Yoga focuses on meditation to integrate the mind, body and the soul. Karma Yoga is the yoga of action with selfless devotion. Bhakti yoga involves surrendering oneself to God through prayers and devotion. Jnana Yoga is the path aim to connect a person with God by breaking his veil ignorance (or darkness within).
There are several paths you can take to achieve Yog:
Pranayam – Pranayam is a powerful breathing technique that directs the flow of energy into the body for healing and balancing the Chakras. With pranayams such as Bhastrika, Ujjayi breath and Kapal Bhati we can draw energy to replace the missing frequency of specific chakras. Pranayam balances the Chakras and synchronizes them so that they optimize our body’s functions.
Yoga – Through yoga poses and breathing we can release the stale energy and generate fresh energy inside. Some of the poses practiced are Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Veerabhadrasana (Warrior pose) and Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose). Diligent practice rejuvenates the body’s chakras, which releases positive energies that helps unite our mind, body and soul.
Mantras – In Sanskrit, Mantra means ‘instrument of thought.’ It can be a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that creates transformation. The Bija mantras are one-syllable seed sounds that activate the energy of the chakras in order to purify and balance the mind and body. When you recite specific mantras, you resonate with the energy of the associated chakra, helping you focus upon your own instinctive awareness of your body and its needs.
Healing items such as Rudraksha and crystals – Rudraksha are divine beads that have powerful magnetic properties and electrical energy stored in them. Depending on the different mukhis of the bead, Rudraksha work on specific Chakras that vibrate to similar frequencies and help to open up and balance these Chakras. Crystals work in the same way.